Arriving in Mongolia was like arriving back to civilisation. It was a nice blend of east and west. On arrival to the train station we were greeted by our hostel owner who drove us back to the hostel. UlaanBaator as a city is not an attractive one although there are a few modern architectural endeavours. There isn't really much to see or do apart from a few buddist temples which we didn't bother going to. Instead we did what we do best; eating, drinking and then bedding-down. After taking heed of a warning about pickpockets with lasers we located an amazing Irish bar which really has no traits of an irish establishment at all. It looked a bit like a fancy Chinese restaurant with waiters who take your whole order and not write a single thing down. Simply Amazing. The food was like heaven on earth considering the amount of s*** we had to eat through Russia. The portions were absolutely gigantic although our appetisers were the same size as our main course and came afterwards. The restaurant was the most expensive in Mongolia but still only cost about £10 for a massive dinner and drinks.
The next day we organised a two day trip to the countryside which was about an hours drive outside of the capital. The roads and driving were equally appalling. We had high hopes about this countryside excursion but these hopes were soon dashed once we arrived to find a grotty damp yurt that stunk and food that was the same each meal. It consisted of rice then a mutton stew thing with carrot and lettuce. We expected organised activities to do but we were just abandoned in the countryside with a random Mongolian family that had children aged 10 sounding like they have smoked 60 a day for the past 40 years. The only activity that was on offer was horse riding which to confess I was quite excited for as I had never done it before. My first observation whilst riding a horse was that it crushes your balls. I would not be surprised if that 2 hours on the horse has rendered me infertile. Initially the guide gave me the reigns and we started to trot off with me in the lead. I ended up going the wrong way an in circles and couldn't get the horse to stop. But after being led by the guide for an hour I soon picked it up and shall be entering the Dressage at London 2012.
We spent that night around a fire drinking beer and vodka with 3 Belgian Gentlemen which was a good laugh despite it getting a bit lairy as one of the belgians started destroying the wooden hut we were sitting in to use as fire wood.
The next day was spent hoping for the next day when we would be let free back into civilisation. Although we discovered a German organised event literally 400m down the valley which included obscure horseriding and archery. Only the Germans could organise an event for 500 people in the heart of Mongolian countryside and have it run to perfection. We spent another night drinking and exchanging wisdom around a camp fire with a new batch of victims. Next day was freedom and we were out of the misery an despair and onwards to China. We had actually tried to book the train to China but it was fully booked so we managed to get a plane cheaper and by god was that the best move we have ever made in our life. Considering our previous border crossing nightmare.